Monterey | Lot 115
1953 Allard J2-X "Little Red"
$280,000 USD | Sold
| Monterey, California
24 August 2018
- Offered from a prominent private collection
- One of just 83 built; among the winningest sports car models of its era
- Powered by a blueprinted 394-cu. in. Oldsmobile V-8 and four-speed transmission
- Veteran of numerous American road rallies
Stouthearted British racing driver and constructor Sydney Allard started out building Ford-based specials in the 1930s, then rebuilt Fords for the British forces during World War II. After the war, with plenty of engines and parts left on hand, he combined them into a two-seater sports car on a box-section frame with transverse leaf springing and its buyer’s choice of reliable American V-8 powerplant.
By the 1950s Allard’s sports car had evolved into the J2 and, later, the J2-X, the latter featuring a de Dion rear axle on coil springs and radius arms, and front radius rods relocated ahead of a split front axle. There was not much else to a J2-X; just a big Detroit V-8, a few panels of bodywork, a pair of seats, and occasionally a windshield. One wag described it “the blacksmith’s revenge,” and another as “resembling a bucket of bolts flying in all directions along a generally forward course.” Nothing else was as successful in American competition, however, until the advent of the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing later in the decade.
One of just 83 J2-Xs produced, the car offered here is fondly known as “Little Red.” Chassis no. 3142, it was formerly owned by well-known American vintage racer and Allard connoisseur, Duncan Emmons of Rancho Mirage, California, and later by a collector who reportedly invested some $74,000 in preparation and proceeded to use it on many thousand-mile rallies between 2006 and 2009; in 2007 it appeared on the poster for the Copperstate 1000.
“Little Red” runs an Oldsmobile 394-cu. in. V-8, balanced, detailed, and dyno-tested for output, with new headers, exhaust, and an electric cooling fan, driving the rear wheels through 3.31 gears in a four-speed transmission. The body was restored with additional thermal insulation and more comfortable seat cushions, and Jaguar rear wheels installed to better handle the engine’s massive horsepower.
The lover of elemental performance need look no further than this superb Allard, a wild thrill for the experienced pilot.